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Head K.,Cochrane Center | Chong L.Y.,Cochrane Center | Hopkins C.,Guys Hospital | Philpott C.,University of East Anglia | And 2 more authors.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews | Year: 2016

Background: This review is one of a suite of six Cochrane reviews looking at the primary medical management options for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Chronic rhinosinusitis is a common condition involving inflammation of the lining of the nose and paranasal sinuses. It is characterised by nasal blockage and nasal discharge, facial pressure/pain and loss of sense of smell. The condition can occur with or without nasal polyps. Oral corticosteroids are used to control the inflammatory response and improve symptoms. Objectives: To assess the effects of oral corticosteroids compared with placebo/no intervention or other pharmacological interventions (intranasal corticosteroids, antibiotics, antifungals) for chronic rhinosinusitis. Search methods: The Cochrane ENT Information Specialist searched the ENT Trials Register; Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2015, Issue 7); MEDLINE; EMBASE; ClinicalTrials.gov; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the search was 11 August 2015. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing a short course (up to 21 days) of oral corticosteroids with placebo or no treatment or compared with other pharmacological interventions. Data collection and analysis: We used the standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Our primary outcomes were disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL), patient-reported disease severity, and the adverse event of mood or behavioural disturbances. Secondary outcomes included general HRQL, endoscopic nasal polyp score, computerised tomography (CT) scan score and the adverse events of insomnia, gastrointestinal disturbances and osteoporosis. We used GRADE to assess the quality of the evidence for each outcome; this is indicated in italics. Main results: We included eight RCTs (474 randomised participants), which compared oral corticosteroids with placebo or no intervention. All trials only recruited adults with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. All trials reported outcomes at two to three weeks, at the end of the short-course oral steroid treatment period. Three trials additionally reported outcomes at three to six months. Two of these studies prescribed intranasal steroids to patients in both arms of the trial at the end of the oral steroid treatment period. Oral steroids versus placebo or no intervention Disease-specific health-related quality of life was reported by one study. This study reported improved quality of life after treatment (two to three weeks) in the group receiving oral steroids compared with the group who received placebo (standardised mean difference (SMD) -1.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.92 to -0.56, 40 participants, modified RSOM-31), which corresponds to a large effect size. We assessed the evidence to be low quality (we are uncertain about the effect estimate; the true effect may be substantially different from the estimate of the effect). Disease severity as measured by patient-reported symptom scores was reported by two studies, which allowed the four key symptoms used to define chronic rhinosinusitis (nasal blockage, nasal discharge, facial pressure, hyposmia) to be combined into one score. The results at the end of treatment (two to three weeks) showed an improvement in patients receiving oral steroids compared to placebo, both when presented as a mean final value (SMD -2.84, 95% CI -4.09 to -1.59, 22 participants) and as a change from baseline (SMD -2.28, 95% CI -2.76 to -1.80, 114 participants). These correspond to large effect sizes but we assessed the evidence to be low quality. One study (114 participants) followed patients for 10 weeks after the two-week treatment period. All patients in both arms received intranasal steroids at the end of the oral steroid treatment period. The results showed that the initial results after treatment were not sustained (SMD -0.22, 95% CI -0.59 to 0.15, 114 participants, percentage improvement from baseline). This corresponds to a small effect size and we assessed the evidence to be low quality. There was an increase in adverse events in people receiving orals steroids compared with placebo for gastrointestinal disturbances (risk ratio (RR) 3.45, 95% CI 1.11 to 10.78; 187 participants; three studies) and insomnia (RR 3.63, 95% CI 1.10 to 11.95; 187 participants; three studies). There was no significant impact of oral steroids on mood disturbances at the dosage used in the included study (risk ratio (RR) 2.50, 95% CI 0.55 to 11.41; 40 participants; one study). We assessed the evidence to be low quality due to the lack of definitions of the adverse events and the small number of events or sample size, or both). Other comparisons No studies that compared short-course oral steroids with other treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis met the inclusion criteria. Authors' conclusions: At the end of the treatment course (two to three weeks) there is an improvement in health-related quality of life and symptom severity in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps taking oral corticosteroids compared with placebo or no treatment. The quality of the evidence supporting this finding is low. At three to six months after the end of the oral steroid treatment period, there is little or no improvement in health-related quality of life or symptom severity for patients taking an initial course of oral steroids compared with placebo or no treatment. The data on the adverse effects associated with short courses of oral corticosteroids indicate that there may be an increase in insomnia and gastrointestinal disturbances but it is not clear whether there is an increase in mood disturbances. All of the adverse events results are based on low quality evidence. More research in this area, particularly research evaluating patients with chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps, longer-term outcomes and adverse effects, is required. There is no evidence for oral steroids compared with other treatments. © 2016 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Head K.,Cochrane Center | Chong L.Y.,Cochrane Center | Hopkins C.,Guys Hospital | Philpott C.,University of East Anglia | And 2 more authors.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews | Year: 2016

Background: This review is one of a suite of six Cochrane reviews looking at the primary medical management options for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Chronic rhinosinusitis is a common condition involving inflammation of the lining of the nose and paranasal sinuses. It is characterised by nasal blockage and nasal discharge, facial pressure/pain and loss of sense of smell. The condition can occur with or without nasal polyps. Oral corticosteroids are used to control the inflammatory response and improve symptoms. Objectives: To assess the effects of a short course of oral corticosteroids as an adjunct ('add-on') therapy in people with chronic rhinosinusitis who are already on standard treatments. Search methods: The Cochrane ENT Information Specialist searched the Cochrane ENT Trials Register; Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2015, Issue 7); MEDLINE; EMBASE; ClinicalTrials.gov; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the search was 11 August 2015. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing a short course (up to 21 days) of oral corticosteroids to placebo or no treatment, where all patients were also receiving pharmacological treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis. Data collection and analysis: We used the standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Our primary outcomes were disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL), patient-reported disease severity, and the adverse event of mood or behavioural disturbances. Secondary outcomes included general HRQL, endoscopic nasal polyp score, computerised tomography (CT) scan score, and the adverse events of insomnia, gastrointestinal disturbances and osteoporosis. We used GRADE to assess the quality of the evidence for each outcome; this is indicated in italics. Main results: Two trials with a total of 78 participants met the inclusion criteria. Both the populations and the 'standard' treatments differed in the two studies. Oral steroids as an adjunct to intranasal corticosteroids One trial in adults with nasal polyps included 30 participants. All participants used intranasal corticosteroids and were randomised to either short-course oral steroids (oral methylprednisolone, 1 mg/kg and reduced progressively over a 21-day treatment course) or no additional treatment. None of the primary outcome measures of interest in this review were reported by the study. There may have been an important reduction in the size of the polyps (measured by the nasal polyps score, a secondary outcome measure) in patients receiving oral steroids and intranasal corticosteroids, compared to intranasal corticosteroids alone (mean difference (MD) -0.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.87 to -0.05; 30 participants; scale 1 to 4) at the end of treatment (21 days). This corresponds to a large effect size, but we are very uncertain about this estimate as we judged the study to be at high risk of bias. Moreover, longer-term data were not available and the other outcomes of interest were not reported. Oral steroids as an adjunct to antibiotics One trial in children (mean age of eight years) without nasal polyps included 48 participants. The trial compared oral corticosteroids (oral methylprednisolone, 1 mg/kg and reduced progressively over a 15-day treatment course) with placebo in participants who also received a 30-day course of antibiotics. This study addressed one of the primary outcome measures (disease severity) and one secondary outcome (CT score). For disease severity the four key symptoms used to define chronic rhinosinusitis in children (nasal blockage, nasal discharge, facial pressure, cough) were combined into one score. There was a greater improvement in symptom severity 30 days after the start of treatment in patients who received oral steroids and antibiotics compared with placebo and antibiotics (MD -7.10, 95% CI -9.59 to -4.61; 45 participants; scale 0 to 40). The observed mean difference corresponds to a large effect size. At the same time point there was a difference in CT scan score (MD -2.90, 95% CI -4.91 to -0.89; 45 participants; scale 0 to 24). We assessed the quality of the evidence to be low. There were no data available for the longer term (three months). Authors' conclusions: There might be an improvement in symptom severity, polyps size and condition of the sinuses when assessed using CT scans in patients taking oral corticosteroids when these are used as an adjunct therapy to antibiotics or intranasal corticosteroids, but the quality of the evidence supporting this is low orvery low (we are uncertain about the effect estimate; the true effect may be substantially different from the estimate of the effect). It is unclear whether the benefits of oral corticosteroids as an adjunct therapy are sustained beyond the short follow-up period reported (up to 30 days), as no longer-term data were available. There were no data in this review about the adverse effects associated with short courses of oral corticosteroids as an adjunct therapy. More research in this area, particularly research evaluating longer-term outcomes and adverse effects, is required. © 2016 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Chong L.Y.,Cochrane Center | Head K.,Cochrane Center | Hopkins C.,Guys Hospital | Philpott C.,University of East Anglia | And 2 more authors.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews | Year: 2016

Background: This review is one of six looking at the primary medical management options for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Chronic rhinosinusitis is common and is characterised by inflammation of the lining of the nose and paranasal sinuses leading to nasal blockage, rhinorrhoea, facial pressure/pain and loss of sense of smell. The condition can occur with or without nasal polyps. The use of topical (intranasal) corticosteroids has been widely advocated for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis given the belief that inflammation is a major component of this condition. Objectives: To assess the effects of intranasal corticosteroids in people with chronic rhinosinusitis. Search methods: The Cochrane ENT Information Specialist searched the Cochrane ENT Trials Register; Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2015, Issue 8); MEDLINE; EMBASE; ClinicalTrials.gov; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the search was 11 August 2015. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with a follow-up period of at least three months comparing intranasal corticosteroids (e.g. beclomethasone dipropionate, triamcinolone acetonide, flunisolide, budesonide) against placebo or no treatment in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Data collection and analysis: We used the standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Our primary outcomes were disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL), patient-reported disease severity and the commonest adverse event - epistaxis. Secondary outcomes included general HRQL, endoscopic nasal polyp score, computerised tomography (CT) scan score and the adverse events of local irritation or other systemic adverse events. We used GRADE to assess the quality of the evidence for each outcome; this is indicated in italics. Main results: We included 18 RCTs with a total of 2738 participants. Fourteen studies had participants with nasal polyps and four studies had participants without nasal polyps. Only one study was conducted in children. Intranasal corticosteroids versus placebo or no intervention Only one study (20 adult participants without polyps) measured our primary outcome disease-specific HRQL using the Rhinosinusitis Outcome Measures-31 (RSOM-31). They reported no significant difference (numerical data not available) (very low quality evidence). Our second primary outcome, disease severity , was measured using the Chronic Sinusitis Survey in a second study (134 participants without polyps), which found no important difference (mean difference (MD) 2.84, 95% confidence interval (CI) -5.02 to 10.70; scale 0 to 100). Another study (chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps) reported an increased chance of improvement in the intranasal corticosteroids group (RR 2.78, 95% CI 1.76 to 4.40; 109 participants). The quality of the evidence was low. Six studies provided data on at least two of the individualsymptoms used in the EPOS 2012 criteria to define chronic rhinosinusitis (nasal blockage, rhinorrhoea, loss of sense of smell and facial pain/pressure). When all four symptoms in the EPOS criteria were available on a scale of 0 to 3 (higher = more severe symptoms), the average MD in change from baseline was -0.26 (95% CI -0.37 to -0.15; 243 participants; two studies; low quality evidence). Although there were more studies and participants when only nasal blockage and rhinorrhoea were considered (MD -0.31, 95% CI -0.38 to -0.24; 1702 participants; six studies), the MD was almost identical to when loss of sense of smell was also considered (1345 participants, four studies; moderate quality evidence). When considering the results for the individual symptoms, benefit was shown in the intranasal corticosteroids group. The effect size was larger for nasal blockage (MD -0.40, 95% CI -0.52 to -0.29; 1702 participants; six studies) than for rhinorrhoea (MD -0.25, 95% CI -0.33 to -0.17; 1702 participants; six studies) or loss of sense of smell (MD -0.19, 95% CI -0.28 to -0.11; 1345 participants; four studies). There was heterogeneity in the analysis for facial pain/pressure (MD -0.27, 95% CI -0.56 to 0.02; 243 participants; two studies). The quality of the evidence was moderate for nasal blockage, rhinorrhoea and loss of sense of smell, but low for facial pain/pressure. There was an increased risk of epistaxis with intranasal corticosteroids (risk ratio (RR) 2.74, 95% CI 1.88 to 4.00; 2508 participants; 13 studies; high quality evidence). Considering our secondary outcome, general HRQL, one study (134 participants without polyps) measured this using the SF-36 and reported a statistically significant benefit only on the general health subscale. The quality of the evidence was very low. It is unclear whether there is a difference in the risk of local irritation (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.53 to 1.64; 2124 participants; 11 studies) (low quality evidence). None of the studies treated or followed up patients long enough to provide meaningful data on the risk of osteoporosis or stunted growth (children). Other comparisons We identified no other studies that compared intranasal corticosteroids plus co-intervention A versus placebo plus co-intervention A. Authors' conclusions: Most of the evidence available was from studies in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. There is little information about quality of life (very low quality evidence). For disease severity, there seems to be improvement for all symptoms (low quality evidence), a moderate-sized benefit for nasal blockage and a small benefit for rhinorrhoea (moderate quality evidence). The risk of epistaxis is increased (high quality evidence), but these data included all levels of severity; small streaks of blood may not be a major concern for patients. It is unclear whether there is a difference in the risk of local irritation (low quality evidence). © 2016 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Chong L.Y.,Cochrane Center | Head K.,Cochrane Center | Hopkins C.,Guys Hospital | Philpott C.,University of East Anglia | And 2 more authors.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews | Year: 2016

Background: This review is one of six looking at the primary medical management options for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Chronic rhinosinusitis is common and is characterised by inflammation of the lining of the nose and paranasal sinuses leading to nasal blockage, nasal discharge, facial pressure/pain and loss of sense of smell. The condition can occur with or without nasal polyps. Topical (intranasal) corticosteroids are used with the aim of reducing inflammation in the sinonasal mucosa in order to improve patient symptoms. Objectives: To assess the effects of different types of intranasal steroids in people with chronic rhinosinusitis. Search methods: The Cochrane ENT Information Specialist searched the ENT Trials Register; Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2015, Issue 7); MEDLINE; EMBASE; ClinicalTrials.gov; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the search was 11 August 2015. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with a follow-up period of at least three months comparing first-generation intranasal corticosteroids (e.g. beclomethasone dipropionate, triamcinolone acetonide, flunisolide, budesonide) with second-generation intranasal corticosteroids (e.g. ciclesonide, fluticasone furoate, fluticasone propionate, mometasone furoate, betamethasone sodium phosphate), or sprays versus drops, or low-dose versus high-dose intranasal corticosteroids. Data collection and analysis: We used the standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Our primary outcomes were disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL), patient-reported disease severity and the commonest adverse event - epistaxis (nosebleed). Secondary outcomes included general HRQL, endoscopic nasal polyp score, computerised tomography (CT) scan score and the adverse event of local irritation. We used GRADE to assess the quality of the evidence for each outcome; this is indicated in italics. Main results: We included nine RCTs (911 participants), including four different comparisons. None of the studies evaluated our first primary outcome measure, disease-specific HRQL. Fluticasone propionate versus beclomethasone dipropionate We identified two small studies (56 participants with polyps) that evaluated disease severity and looked at the primary adverse effect: epistaxis , but no other outcomes. We cannot report any numerical data but the study authors reported no difference between the two steroids. The evidence was of very low quality. Fluticasone propionate versus mometasone furoate We identified only one study (100 participants with polyps) that evaluated disease severity (nasal symptoms scores), which reported no difference (no numerical data available). The evidence was of very low quality. High-dose versus low-dose steroids We included five studies (663 participants with nasal polyps), three using mometasone furoate (400 μg versus 200 μg in adults and older children, 200 μg versus 100 μg in younger children) and two using fluticasone propionate drops (800 μg versus 400 μg). We found low quality evidence relating to disease severity and nasal polyps size, with results from the high-dose and low-dose groups being similar. Although all studies reported more improvement in polyp score in the high-dose group, the significance of this is unclear due to the small size of the improvements. The primary adverse effect, epistaxis , was more common when higher doses were used (risk ratio (RR) 2.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20 to 3.54, 637 participants, moderate quality evidence). Most of the studies that contributed data to this outcome used a broad definition of epistaxis, which ranged from frank bleeding to bloody nasal discharge to flecks of blood in the mucus. Aqueous nasal spray versus aerosol spray We identified only one poorly reported study (unclear number of participants for comparison of interest, 91 between three treatment arms), in which there were significant baseline differences between the participants in the two groups. We were unable to draw meaningful conclusions from the data. Authors' conclusions: We found insufficient evidence to suggest that one type of intranasal steroid is more effective than another in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis, nor that the effectiveness of a spray differs from an aerosol. We identified no studies that compared drops with spray. It is unclear if higher doses result in better symptom improvements (low quality evidence), but there was moderate quality evidence of an increased risk of epistaxis as an adverse effect of treatment when higher doses were used. This included all levels of severity of epistaxis and it is likely that the proportion of events that required patients to discontinue usage is low due to the low numbers of withdrawals attributed to it. If epistaxis is limited to streaks of blood in the mucus it may be tolerated by the patient and it may be safe to continue treatment. However, it may be a factor that affects compliance. There is insufficient evidence to suggest that the different types of corticosteroid molecule or spray versus aerosol have different effects. Lower doses have similar effectiveness but fewer side effects. Clearly more research in this area is needed, with specific attention given to trial design, disease-specific health-related quality of life outcomes and evaluation of longer-term outcomes and adverse effects. © 2016 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Ferrante Di Ruffano L.,University of Birmingham | Davenport C.,University of Birmingham | Eisinga A.,Cochrane Center | Hyde C.,University of Exeter | Deeks J.J.,University of Birmingham
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology | Year: 2012

Objective: To estimate the number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published annually that evaluate the impact of diagnostic tests on patient outcomes to gauge the extent of available randomized evidence assessing the effectiveness of diagnostic tests. Study Design and Setting: Relevant RCTs published in 2004-2007 were identified from electronic searches of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). Two search strategies were developed, one using diagnostic methodological terms and one using test names. Potentially relevant RCTs were identified by screening titles and abstracts. Final inclusion decisions were based on full-text review. A random 10% sample of all citations was independently screened by a second reviewer. Capture-recapture methodology was used to estimate the number of relevant RCTs missed by both searches. Results: One hundred thirty-five relevant RCTs were identified from the 23,888 records retrieved. Interobserver agreement was substantial. Capture-recapture methodology estimated that 148 (95% confidence interval: 140, 160) relevant RCTs were published in the 4-year period, an average of only 37 publications per year. Conclusion: RCTs of diagnostic tests that evaluate patient outcomes are rare. Consequently recommendations on the use of diagnostic tests can rarely be made on the basis of randomized comparisons, lower grade evidence frequently being the best available. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Li N.,University of Sichuan | Zhou Y.,University of Sichuan | Du L.,Cochrane Center | Wei M.,Cochrane Center | Chen X.,University of Sichuan
Experimental Eye Research | Year: 2011

The objective of this study was to investigate the distribution of mutations in the Cytochrome P450 1B1 gene (CYP1B1) in patients with primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) among different populations. All identifiable original studies on CYP1B1 gene mutations of patients with PCG were reviewed. Finally, DNA mutations within the CYP1B1 gene were identified in 542 patients with PCG according to 52 scientific articles and 147 distinct mutations were found. The 3987G>A (G61E) missense mutation is a founder mutation in Middle Eastern population, responsible for 45.52% of CYP1B1 mutations. In Gypsies, missense mutation 7996G>A (E387K) seems to be a founder mutation, accounting for 79.63% of CYP1B1 mutations. It seems that there is no founder mutation in Asian or Caucasian population, but also accumulates in some spots. Mutations 7927G>A (V364M), 7990C>T (L385F) and 8006G>A (R390H) are common in Asian population. In Caucasians, 7940G>A (R368H), 8037dup10, 8006G>A (R390H), 7901del13, 4340delG, 3987G>A (G61E), 7996G>A (E387K), 4490G>A (E229K) and 8005C>T/A (R390C/S) are common mutations. The findings suggest that ethnic differences and the geographical distribution of PCG may be associated with different CYP1B1 mutation patterns. Such information may be useful in developing strategies for reliable clinical genetic testing of patients with PCG and their families. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Menkes D.B.,University of Auckland | Herxheimer A.,Cochrane Center
International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Alcohol use and antidepressant prescription are prevalent in many countries, but little is known about their combined effects. OBJECTIVE: Having been surprised by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant-treated patients who became prone to pathological intoxication, we examined this association, searching for relevant literature and cases. METHODS: A detailed literature search showed little or no interaction between SSRIs and alcohol in laboratory studies, and inconsistent effects of these drugs in problem drinkers. We collected cases to study from our own and colleagues' practices, regulatory agencies and web-based discussion fora, and considered evidence for interactions according to standard criteria. RESULTS: Pathological intoxication, characterized by unexpected and often gross disinhibition, was identified in 100 of 201 reports that provided enough detail to be evaluated. Memory impairment was prominent in just over half (53/100) of these. Outcomes included serious violence; homicide occurred in 8 cases, including two double and one triple homicide (12 deaths). CONCLUSIONS: Multiple lines of evidence amplify a thus far barely recognized signal of interactions of SSRI and related antidepressants with alcohol. Systematic collection of further data is required to further characterize this syndrome, but in the meantime effective warnings must be introduced to alert prescribers and patients to the serious risk of pathological intoxication during antidepressant treatment. © 2014 - IOS Press and the authors.


Herxheimer A.,Cochrane Center
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology | Year: 2012

Knowing some basic principles about medicines would help patients to understand drug therapy and to help and encourage them to use it well. These principles relate to the categories and names of drugs, their different uses, how they reach the site of action (absorption, distribution, fate), how they produce their effects, both beneficial and harmful, the time courses of drug actions, how the pattern and intensity of the effects of a drug depend on dose and timing, drug interactions, how drug effects are demonstrated and investigated and sources of information and their trustworthiness. These basic principles are an essential part of health literacy and understanding them would enable individuals to comprehend better the information that they are likely to receive about medicines that they will take. Different populations need different types of education. For schoolchildren, the principles could fit into biology and domestic science teaching, starting in the later years of primary school or early in secondary school. A teaching package would also be needed for their teachers. For adults, web-based learning seems the most practical option. Web-based programmes could be supported by the NHS and professional bodies and through public libraries and local community health services. Specific groups for targeting could include young mothers and carers of chronically ill people. For retired people, one could envisage special programmes, perhaps in collaboration with the University of the Third Age. Conversations between patients and professionals would then become more effective and help shared decision making. © 2012 The Author. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.


Burton M.J.,Cochrane Center | Glasziou P.P.,Cochrane Center | Chong L.Y.,Cochrane Center | Venekamp R.P.,Cochrane Center
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Surgical removal of the tonsils, with or without adenoidectomy (adeno-/tonsillectomy), is a common ENT operation, but the indications for surgery are controversial. This is an update of a Cochrane review first published in The Cochrane Library in Issue 3, 1999 and previously updated in 2009.OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of tonsillectomy (with and without adenoidectomy) in children and adults with chronic/recurrent acute tonsillitis in reducing the number and severity of episodes of tonsillitis or sore throat.SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Group Trials Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); PubMed; EMBASE; CINAHL; Web of Science; Cambridge Scientific Abstracts; ISRCTN and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the most recent search was 30 June 2014.SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials comparing tonsillectomy (with or without adenoidectomy) with non-surgical treatment in adults and children with chronic/recurrent acute tonsillitis.DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used the standard methodological procedures expected by The Cochrane Collaboration.MAIN RESULTS: This review includes seven trials with low to moderate risk of bias: five undertaken in children (987 participants) and two in adults (156 participants). An eighth trial in adults (40 participants) was at high risk of bias and did not provide any data for analysis. Good information about the effectiveness of adeno-/tonsillectomy is only available for the first year following surgery in children and for a shorter period (five to six months) in adults.We combined data from five trials in children; these trials included children who were 'severely affected' (based on the specific 'Paradise' criteria) and less severely affected. Children who had an adeno-/tonsillectomy had an average of three episodes of sore throats (of any severity) in the first postoperative year, compared to 3.6 episodes in the control group; a difference of 0.6 episodes (95% confidence interval (CI) -1 to -0.1; moderate quality evidence). One of the three episodes in the surgical group was the 'predictable' one that occurred in the immediate postoperative period.When we analysed only episodes of moderate/severe sore throat, children who had been more severely affected and had adeno-/tonsillectomy had on average 1.1 episodes of sore throat in the first postoperative year, compared with 1.2 episodes in the control group (low quality evidence). This is not a significant difference but one episode in the surgical group was that occurring immediately after surgery.Less severely affected children had more episodes of moderate/severe sore throat after surgery (1.2 episodes) than in the control group (0.4 episodes: difference 0.8, 95% CI 0.7 to 0.9), but again one episode was the predictable postoperative episode (moderate quality evidence).Data on the number of sore throat days is only available for moderately affected children and is consistent with the data on episodes. In the first year after surgery children undergoing surgery had an average of 18 days of sore throat (of which some - between five and seven on average - will be in the immediate postoperative period), compared with 23 days in the control group (difference 5.1 days, 95% CI 2.2 to 8.1; moderate quality evidence).When we pooled the data from two studies in adults (156 participants), there were 3.6 fewer episodes (95% CI 7.9 fewer to 0.70 more; low quality evidence) in the group receiving surgery within six months post-surgery. However, statistical heterogeneity was significant. The pooled mean difference for number of days with sore throat in a follow-up period of about six months was 10.6 days fewer in favour of the group receiving surgery (95% CI 5.8 fewer to 15.8 fewer; low quality evidence). However, there was also significant statistical heterogeneity in this analysis and the number of days with postoperative pain (which appeared to be on average 13 to 17 days in the two trials) was not included. Given the short duration of follow-up and the differences between studies, we considered the evidence for adults to be of low quality.Two studies in children reported that there was "no statistically significant difference" in quality of life outcomes, but the data could not be pooled. One study reported no difference in analgesics consumption. We found no evidence for prescription of antibiotics.Limited data are available from the included studies to quantify the important risks of primary and secondary haemorrhage.AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Adeno-/tonsillectomy leads to a reduction in the number of episodes of sore throat and days with sore throat in children in the first year after surgery compared to (initial) non-surgical treatment. Children who were more severely affected were more likely to benefit as they had a small reduction in moderate/severe sore throat episodes. The size of the effect is very modest, but there may be a benefit to knowing the precise timing of one episode of pain lasting several days - it occurs immediately after surgery as a direct consequence of the procedure. It is clear that some children get better without any surgery, and that whilst removing the tonsils will always prevent 'tonsillitis', the impact of the procedure on 'sore throats' due to pharyngitis is much less predictable.Insufficient information is available on the effectiveness of adeno-/tonsillectomy versus non-surgical treatment in adults to draw a firm conclusion.The impact of surgery, as demonstrated in the included studies, is modest. Many participants in the non-surgical group improve spontaneously (although some people randomised to this group do in fact undergo surgery). The potential 'benefit' of surgery must be weighed against the risks of the procedure as adeno-/tonsillectomy is associated with a small but significant degree of morbidity in the form of primary and secondary haemorrhage and, even with good analgesia, is particularly uncomfortable for adults.


Chandler P.,Cochrane Center | Herxheimer A.,Cochrane Center
International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine | Year: 2011

A healthy policeman was prescribed bupropion in 2002 to help him stop smoking. It worked but after 18 months he relapsed. Though it had given him headaches and insomnia he tried using it again in 2009, taking 8 at end: 150 mg/day. Three days after starting the tablets he took his wife out for dinner. They shared a bottle of wine and he also had other drinks. After walking home they quarrelled, he slapped her, she slapped him. He threw the phone at her saying 'call the police!'. They came and charged him with assault; he was suspended. An expert report attributed the aggressive outburst to an interaction between bupropion and alcohol; the accused was a social drinker and had never been violent. An expert advising the police agreed, and 14 months after the event the court dismissed the case. © 2011 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

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